Emergency Action Planning



Dam Owner Responsibilities

About EAPs

What is the law in California?

Emergency Action Plans are not required under California law or regulations. Dam owners are strongly urged by the California Office of Emergency Management (CalOES), local emergency management directors, and federal dam safety authorities to have EAPs for their HHP dams. It boils down to a simple question for any dam owner: Without an EAP how will you know what to do if there is a dam emergency, and how will you know if everyone your dam puts at risk can be notified to evacuate?

EAPs on HHP dams may not be a legal obligation, but they surely are a social and moral obligation of dam owners, as well as a smart, proactive legal strategy. Dam owners and operating personnel must be prepared to act promptly and effectively when a dam begins to shown signs of failure. Early identification of a hazardous situation may provide additional time to warn and evacuate downstream residents and to implement measures to prevent or delay dam failure.

Because failure of a dam may take only minutes or hours, it is imperative to have a detailed plan of action ready to use. This EAP should include procedures for notification and coordination with local law enforcement and other governmental agencies, information on potential areas of inundation, plans for warning and evacuation, and information on resources and procedures for making emergency repairs. An EAP is customized to a specific dam and helps assure an orderly, thorough, timely, and proper emergency response.

An EAP also facilitates faster and better organized response in case of an emergency at the dam.